As the 2011/2012 Nigerian Premier League season wobbles to an end this weekend and bogged down by poor funding, absence of sponsors and poor spectators, some stakeholders have called on the managers to ensure new lease of life for the league next season.
In spite the plethora of problems, however, the Nigeria Premier League board is managing to run the season to conclusion, the situation which robbed the league of some glamour.
The vice chairman of Mastersports International, Mitchell Obi, yesterday said, “ the league could have a better lease of life.”
“We shall need a brand new league that should be able to have all the excitements, raise funds and rally spectators back to the stadiums,’’ he said.
However, a top official of the Board, noted that if all litigants currently in court over the title sponsorship of the league could withdraw such cases,it would pave way for an amicable settlement of the issue.
The board’s acting Executive Secretary, Tunji Babalola, who made the appeal during an interview with newsmen, noted; “The only way forward for all of us is for the litigants to withdraw the matter from the courts.
“We are appealing that to them to see the success of the league as uppermost in their minds.
“If the cases are withdrawn, we can sit down and resolve the issues amicably, without much ado, before the commencement of the 2012/2013 league season,’’ Babalola said.
Another administrator, Musa Amadu, the secretary, Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), also urged the NPL to seek a peaceful resolution of the matter.
Amadu also commended the efforts of the NPL board in coordinating the league, in spite of the challenges of funding.
“This has been the most challenging season for the NPL and they have remained steadfast in their quest to ensure that the league becomes a success.
“In spite of this, the NPL has been rated as the best in Africa, but there is still room for improvements.
“There are more away victories, which is a new thing in the league; the quality of play has improved too, which is highly commendable; we hope next season will be better,’’ he said.
The General Manager of Shooting Stars Sports Club (3SC) of Ibadan, Mutiu Adepoju however, urged the NPL to put its house in order. He called for cohesion in the body.